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This audio is available in streaming format
Subject: Context Matters
First things first, if you are 'judging' this performance you are absolutely obligated to recall the context: third of the three most significant performances since the four shows in 1975, the most notable of those being 8.13.75 (Great American Music Hall), although my personal favorite is 9.28.75 from Golden Gate Park. But I digress...My point is the trio of shows in December of 1986 that culminates in this 12.17.86 performance are historical, even by Grateful Dead standards. Jerry's return to health and to performing after collapsing into a coma in the summer of 1986 was the backdrop for these shows, and it is no exaggeration to say that the 'Grateful Dead' took on an entirely new meaning by the time the band left the stage after the final encore.
Subject: I find this unlistenable,
due to the skips and sound inconsistencies (this is not a commentary on the contributor, but on the quality of the recording), and I also don't think it's that great a performance (not a commentary on the quality of the musicians, but on the music they played that night). Maybe other copies are better.
Subject: The 1st day of the rest of my life
This was my first show, I was a metal head and my friend dragged me to this show - I was "dead" set against it, we fought in the parking lot. He bought us tickets for 10 bucks a piece - I don't know why those folks didn't go in, but thank you for not. We came in at around The Other One - I was struck by how many people were there and that the crowd was not trying their best to kill each other to get to the stage (as they do a metal shows). Then Not Fade Away > Not Fade Away BLEW my mind - if you were there you will agree - never had I seen anything like it in my life. I was bitten - changed forever, I begged Eric for forgiveness and then asked when the next shows were. 70+ shows later and I am still trucking to the Grateful Dead - Thanks boys
Subject: more sound in this version
Wow...everyone was so excited to have jerry back after his health scare.
This show is about as high energy as they come. the finer of the 3 wlcome back shows.
for posterity listen to the first night crowd before they show starts.....they are really making some noise.
Subject: Welcome Back, Jerry!!!
This was night 3 of 3 after Jerry "died" the first time and the band didn't play for months. The parking lot buzz was that the 1st night they cried, forgot the words and many songs. Night 2 was less crying, forgotten words and notes but that night 3... this night they didn't cry, remembered words and didn't miss a note. Listen to Jerry play every note with perfect bend and cry... during Ship of Fools Jerry was our Captain, leaning into the "wind" and steering us all into a musical frenzy! Incredible show and even though it was my first I never heard them play better after in 40+ shows!
Subject: JUST BLOWS my mind
Was just thinking how lucky we were in the day. We really had it good. This is a perfect example of it rite here. For those of us who were here this site brings it all back. Thank you so very much for all the years. The show just smokes as did all three nights. Sound is better then where I was I know that for sure also my sate of mind is much better these days also.
Subject: best version of the three
Thankyou for this copy. Great sound all the way through. The Alabama opener rocks. Jerry is fantastic in Tennessee Jed. The Music 1st set closer is excelent. May be the best Sam & del I have seen. One thing I remember about these three nights is the great energy and they were just nailing song after song. The boys were singing better than ever, great harmonies. I would like to have had a little more of Brent's keyboard, I'm not complaining though. He's Gone is perfect. Listen to Jerry Belt out Smile, Smile, Smile, the end is orgasmic with jerry doubleing his guitar with his voice.
Burnt Rich -
Subject: Shoot Luke......
The second set is about as long as the entire show from July 7 of the same year, the last show before Jerry's coma/flat-line experience.....and he completely forgets how to play guitar and gets it back before winter solstice??!! WTF!! And lo and behold, 5 months and the long awaited Black Peter later, he comes back for another decade on the road.....is there a docu-drama I missed somewhere--you can't write a better script...5 stars for the cosmic audacity of the whole affair!